1930-1960: Growing in Stature

1930-1960: Growing in Stature

After some difficult experiences at the beginning of the 1930s, and then again at the end of the Second World War, it was at the dawn of the 1950s that AS Monaco began to impose itself at the highest level.

On September 3, 1933, against neighboring of Football Athlétic Club de Nice, AS Monaco won their very first professional match, in Division 2 South, but the Nice club having folded during the season erases the result. Thus the team’s first official victory at this level came against FC Lyon (5-1) a few weeks later. Despite these promising beginnings, the process of learning to be a professional team is painful. The club was close to a move to Division 1, but its dream collapsed after losing a promotion playoff against St-Etienne (2-4). Worse, facing financial problems, the club was forced to drop back into amateur football. Everything was in need of a reset, and it would take the club fourteen years to play another professional match.

1939, the first Stade Louis-II is opened

AS Monaco eventually came back to being on more solid footing, winning several regional titles, such as in the 1936-1937 season, and with the opening of the Stade Louis II opposite the Port of Fontvieille in 1939 the Club finally had an infrastructure worthy of its ambitions, but World War II shattered the team’s momentum. During the conflict, the club remained active in the Provence Championship, even winning in 1941-1942, and it also reached the quarterfinals of the Coupe de France during that same season.

1953: A first spell in Division 1

At the end of the war, the 1947-1948 season saw the team win the South-East Honor Division, a success which allowed it to move back up to Division 2 and therefore regain their professional status. It was again against Lyon and by the same score, 5-,1 that the team’s first win would come in the following season. Benefiting from the unwavering support of Prince Rainier III, who had succeeded his grandfather, Prince Louis II, AS Monaco finally reached Division 1 in 1953. On August 23 of that same year, the Red and White competed in (and lost) their first match at this level against Toulouse FC.

On the podium at the Coupe de France

Their first finish on the Division 1 podium came at the end of the 1955-1956 season, a performance which was repeated two years later, in 1957-1958. The following season marked a real turning point for AS Monaco with the arrival of Lucien Leduc as coach. He would lead the club to its first great success, winning the Coupe de France in 1959-1960. Victorious over AS St-Etienne at the end of a nerve-jangling final (4-2 after extra time), AS Monaco thus wrote the first line of what would become a long list of honors.